Abbott Park, Illinois (NYSE: ABT) and Copenhagen, Denmark - EpiTherapeutics and Abbott today announced a collaboration agreement to develop new anti-cancer drugs by making small-molecule inhibitors against selected epigenetic oncology targets. Under the terms of the agreement EpiTherapeutics receives an up-front payment and will receive funding of research activities at EpiTherapeutics. Further, EpiTherapeutics is eligible, under certain conditions, to receive milestone payments as well as potential royalties on future revenues. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
The collaboration agreement runs for three years. Research activities will be conducted at both EpiTherapeutics and Abbott.
Dr. Martin Bonde, CEO of EpiTherapeutics, commented: "We are very pleased with our drug discovery collaboration with Abbott, who brings tremendous expertise in the oncology field. Abbott's choice of EpiTherapeutics as a collaboration partner is recognition of our competencies within epigenetic biology and early drug discovery. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the aim of developing new anti-cancer drugs within the promising new area of epigenetics."
James Sullivan, Ph.D., vice president, Pharmaceuticals Discovery, Abbott, said: "Abbott's oncology research is focused on the discovery and development of targeted, less toxic therapies that work against the processes cancers need to survive. The varied nature of the cancer requires a diverse approach looking at multiple disease targets in different tumor types and we look forward to working with EpiTherapeutics to accelerate our development of new anti-cancer drugs."
Epigenetics is the study of inherited changes driven by the differential expression of genes through mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Cancer epigenetics is a rapidly emerging research area with potential to help find new treatments for patients by modifying DNA and chromatin, both of which play a role in tumor development.
EpiTherapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel innovative cancer drugs based on world leading research in the field of epigenetics. The company was founded in October 2008 by Professor Kristian Helin and colleagues from BRIC (Biotech Research and Innovation Centre) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Professor Helin and his research group are considered among the world leaders in the field of basic oncology research and involved in the discovery of various epigenetic enzymes as well as their role in human diseases, including oncology. EpiTherapeutics has a strong investor base consisting of Novo Seeds, SEED Capital Denmark, Lundbeckfond Ventures, OSI Pharmaceuticals and Merck Serono Ventures. For more information, please visit www.epitherapeutics.dk
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.